Stuttering column hit the mark and more letters to the editors

Stuttering column hit the mark

For someone like myself who identifies as a PWS (person who stutters), Mark Kennedy's column last week, "Chattanooga business man remembers being called out for stuttering," hit the mark. The horrible treatment Bill Smith received in elementary school unfortunately is something that most young stutterers experience. Conversely, most young stutterers also experience the help of a caring person at the school, such as the principal who directed the young Smith to the Speech and Hearing Center in Chattanooga.

I was very interested to read of the great works that the Speech and Hearing Center has done over many decades helping children who stutter or have other speech or hearing problems.

While the Speech and Hearing Center is a gem in Chattanooga, there is a renowned stuttering organization in Tennessee, the Memphis-based Stuttering Foundation.

The most important aspect of this column is that Bill Smith is sharing this part of his life with the public as a way to help others.

Adam Lichter, Springfield, Mass.

Appreciates paper's reporters, editors

To the Times Free Press editors and reporters: I wish to thank you for not just reporting the news but for your well-considered commentary on our state House's recent "shenanigans," to put it mildly. As a state, all of us lost face and any good opinion others may have had of Tennessee.

It was a supremely embarrassing moment when Republicans decided to vote out two legislators for daring to voice the opinions of their voters or constituents. In a democracy, the voters must be represented. Obviously, Republicans are not interested in democracy; they want a dictatorship. Shame on all Republicans. Shame on our governor (also Republican) for not speaking out.

Thank you, again, for your steadfastness in standing up to bullies.

Crystal Kadivar

Soft skills should not be ignored

Recently the Biden administration forgave a substantial amount of college loan debt. Some argued that the cost of the education exceeded its benefits, and therefore many should not go to college but pursue other career paths. They argue the purpose of a university degree is to "train" someone in a skill that will enhance their earning power over the course of their life. The need to forgive debt would therefore be less likely.

Is the primary purpose of higher education to increase income or is it to train students in logical thinking, appreciation of the arts, and development of a moral compass? The truth is both job skills and the ability to think clearly and rationally are important and attainable.

How valuable is it to understand logic, appreciate the arts, develop language skills and learn other "soft" topics? These soft skills are invaluable and life-long. Technical knowledge can quickly become obsolete, but education in thinking, history and the arts never becomes outdated.

While one must be competent in one's professional field to be successful, soft skills are just as important.

Charles S. White

GOP focusing on wrong issues

In a recent right-side editorial, the author described transgenders as representing a tiny sliver of the population.

Why then is the right spending so much legislative time on them instead of on issues of concern to the majority of the population? Issues like inflation, health care, funding Social Security and, yes, gun control.

Bill Hayes

Dominion sold out; Fox escapes its lies

Fox Corp. does not have to admit lying knowingly to viewers. Fox made billions by lying to trusting viewers and, like Trump, paid off its accusers to silence them. A trial would have forced these liars to admit their lies, but now Fox can smugly deny lying. Apparently, Fox can continue to lie to gullible Americans and will support Trump's future lies, probably helping to re-elect the liar. None of the Fox opinion liars, even those who hate Trump passionately, will have to stop lying. They will continue to lie and support any MAGA lie that Fox finds profitable.

No one at Fox is going to miss a paycheck or be forced to sell their mansion or yacht. Salaries paid by their honest, hard-working American viewers who deserve to hear the truth but are fooled into believing Joe is the enemy.

We certainly hope that Dominion doesn't sell out on its defamation suits related to allegations of election fraud pending against Newsmax, OAN, Mike Lindell, Patrick Byrne, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, all of whom told the same lies.

As Fox would say, "Just my opinion."

Tim Taylor

Gun victims could have been mine

Last May, I sat on my sofa sobbing while I observed the faces of 19 second-graders beaming as they displayed their end-of-year certificates on awards day in Uvalde, Texas.

I cried because I had a second grader at home who was just like them.

I let him finish the last few days of second grade, but I decided to homeschool him for third grade. Every time I looked at my little boy, I saw that other little boy -- the one in Texas, smiling with his certificate on awards day.

I gave in after a semester. He missed his friends, his teachers and his school. I re-enrolled him.

Today, there are 9-year-olds, just like mine, in my state, who have been robbed of their futures.

It could have been me. It could have been mine.

When will it finally be enough?

While our lawmakers forbid drag queens from reading books to our children, our children are murdered in the school library.

When will it end?

Rachel S. Green

Noise, speed detract from downtown living

I have lived in Chattanooga for almost two years now. I live directly across from the Tennessee Aquarium. It is a great place to live -- except for the noise.

Growing up in a large city, I am used to car sounds and emergency vehicles, but the excessive motorcycle and car exhausts outfitted with excessive noise are too much.

Watching families everyday enjoying the aquarium, I see children holding their hands over their ears because of these types of vehicles. It also appears no one is recognizing the speed limit on Market Street. Cars, especially motorcycles, actually go faster as they approach the bridge.

If this continues, it will drive people away or worse, someone will get seriously hurt.

Brian Mullaney

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